By Samantha Highfill
February 19, 2020 at 04:03 PM EST

Justin Chambers might have left Grey’s Anatomy, but the same can’t be said for Alex Karev.

Following the news of Chambers’ exit from the long-running medical drama, it was revealed that his final episode aired back in November. But his final scene was by no means a farewell.

Since its 2020 return, Grey’s has addressed the character of Alex several times, mentioning that he’s off taking care of his sick mother and, more recently, that he hasn’t been returning his wife’s calls. Furthermore, Jo returned home at the end of the last episode to find that Alex still wasn’t home…and she shouldn’t expect him anytime soon. In speaking to Variety, Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff talked about Alex’s exit, saying, “It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo. We’re, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity.”

Credit: Mike Rosenthal/ABC via Getty Images

Vernoff explained that Alex’s exit is “a bit of a mystery” mostly because the writers didn’t want to put Jo right back in the same painful emotional place she found herself last season. “We did it as carefully as we could,” Vernoff told Variety of the exit. “But it takes a while to get there.”

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Grey's Anatomy

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